Posture can deal with how one holds their body when standing or sitting. Mind your posture and sit up straight!
It can also refer to the manner in which someone considers or approaches something. So, what should be our posture regarding this issue?
When it comes to applying it as an adjective to missional, it actually takes on nuances of both ideas.
A missional posture involves physically positioning yourself and approaching life from the perspective of being on mission with God. Let me explain in the following principles of missional posturing.
Recognize and rest in the reality that God is already present and at work.
I thank Henry Blackaby for awakening me to this life-altering reality. God is always at work around you. In the lives of people you encounter on a regular basis. In your neighborhood. In a people group you’ve been praying for. In your own home. The missional task of making disciples can at times seem daunting. No one is responding. It appears your actions of love go unnoticed.
But the truth is, God went there ahead of you and has been at work in the heart and life and experience of someone. It’s not up to you to get something started. God has already started. Your job is to keep your eyes open for what God is doing. When you see the work of God, you go join him in what he’s doing. That takes the pressure off you. Remember, God is not asking you to do something for him. He is inviting you to let him do something through you.
It’s not your mission to go barging in to make something happen for the kingdom. Go in, watch, and listen for God’s activity. Staying alert for God’s work is a missional posture.
Immerse yourself in the community where God has put you.
I believe it’s important that you connect deeply with the people in the place where you are. I’m always a bit troubled by the idea of living in one neighborhood, working in another city, worshiping in another community, and doing business and enjoying downtime in yet another one. I believe there’s something to be said for living, working, worshiping, shopping, and recreating in one community.
If God has sent me to a location, then I believe that means he has sent me to the people who are there. It’s not always possible, but as much as possible I think it is a critical part of missional living to be fully immersed in the community where you reside. Become such a fixture in your community that you will be missed if you’re not there. Be a regular at local establishments and businesses. Mingle your life with the life of other community residents. Such immersion is necessary if we are to incarnate the gospel. People have to get to know us, and know us pretty well. And we must get to know them well. That’s where the real impact is. Immersion is a missional posture.
Do something that keeps you in the path of people.
This principle has to do with your occupation or job. Our mission is to people, so we need to be around people. Your job may naturally keep you around people all the time, so that’s a great start. The issue then becomes doing your work with gospel intentionality. However, your job may be a night shift security guard, and you’re all alone for hours. You’ll have to get around people in other scenarios outside work.
I’m thinking of pastors in particular as I write about this principle. You seclude yourself in your study preparing sermons and Bible studies, maybe going out for some afternoon visits and the occasional meeting. But if you really took stock of how much face time you’re getting with people, especially nonbelievers, it’s pretty slim.
You can do something radical, like earn a living doing something other than vocational ministry (Bi-Vocational or Vocational Missional). Or you could do your sermon prep in public places where you are around other people. It can be the local coffee house or McDonald’s (they have free wifi). Spend more time in the community and not in the study. You are sent to people, so find ways to be among them. Staying in the path of people is posturing yourself missionally.
Where do you see God working around you? Go join him in what he’s doing. What do you need to do to more fully immerse yourself in your community? What changes can you make to get yourself in the path of people on a more regular basis? Begin to posture yourself missionally.